News & Analysis as of

DOJ Criminal Division Renews Efforts to Investigate Whistleblower Allegations

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has signaled a heightened effort to bring criminal prosecutors into the loop regarding False Claims Act referrals and other whistleblower complaints. In recent remarks at a conference comprised...more

CMS Finalizes Proposal to Remove Continuing Medical Education Exclusion from Sunshine Act Regulations

On October 31, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final Medicare physician fee schedule rule for CY 2015 (the Final Rule), which also includes certain changes to the Sunshine Regulations. ...more

CMS Announces CY 2015 Home Health Prospective Payment System Rates

On October 30, 2014, CMS issued a final rule for Medicare Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS) rates for CY 2015. The final rule estimates that Medicare payments to home health agencies (HHAs) in CY 2015 will be...more

CMS Releases the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (Medicare PFS) on October 31, 2014. The final rule updates payment policies and payment rates for services furnished to...more

Do You Offer or Accept Copayment Coupons? OIG says YOU are Responsible for Compliance with Federal Law

In recent years, copayment coupon programs have become standard promotional practices for both large and small pharmaceutical manufacturers. Copayment coupons are typically offered to commercially insured patients in order...more

Health Law Alert: OIG Releases Proposed Revisions to Anti-Kickback Safe Harbors and Civil Monetary Penalty Rules

The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently released a proposed rule that revises safe harbors under the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP) rules regarding...more

OIG Announces Proposed AKS and CMP Regulations

On October 3, 2014, the Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) issued a proposed rule codifying into regulation several statutory changes to the Antikickback Statute (“AKS”) and the Civil Monetary Penalty (“CMP”) Law. Nearly...more

Critical Access Hospital Soothsayers and the 96-Hour Physician Certification Requirement

This year critical access hospitals (CAH) have struggled to implement procedures to comply with both the "two-midnight" rule and the 96-hour physician certification requirement. The combination of both puts physicians in a...more

Whistleblower Goes It Alone to Secure $5 Million Settlement under False Claims Act

The potential success of a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act (FCA) is significantly reduced when the government fails to intervene because such cases are often assumed to lack merit. However, a plaintiff...more

Sometimes the Government is Here to Help: OIG Proposes More Flexibility in Rules Governing Local Transportation, Beneficiary...

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General ("OIG") just released a proposed rule (“Proposed Rule”) that provides long awaited guidance on patient transportation services, relaxes the...more

CMS Announces Launch of Open Payments Database: $3.5 Billion Paid to Physicians and Teaching Hospitals

The Open Payments database (the “Database”) is now live, and the first round of data is available to the public on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) website. This first round of data reflects “nearly 4.4...more

Department of Justice Files First False Claims Act Lawsuit Against Physician-Owned Distributorship

On Sept. 8, 2014, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a 98-page civil complaint alleging that investment returns, paid to a Michigan spinal surgeon and other physicians by a spinal implant company partially...more

Want To Complain About The 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule? Take A Number.

Apparently Americans feel that way about Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service physician compensation schedule. Everybody complains about it, but nobody likes any proposed changes. That’s clear from the reaction to the...more

A Primer on Medicare Requirements for Physician Supervision of "Incident to" Services

Services provided by a physician’s auxiliary staff that are “incident to” the physician’s services are paid under the physician fee schedule at a higher rate, as though the physician had personally furnished the services....more

Corridors Fall 2014 - News for NC Hospitals

In this issue: - North Carolina’s Medicaid RAC Program – Don’t Let Your Guard Down - A Primer on Medicare Requirements for Physician Supervision of “Incident to” Services - Hospital Options for Unused...more

Telehealth and Health IT Policy: Considerations for Stakeholders

In recent months, as the conversation about reforming the health care system has shifted to achieving greater delivery system efficiencies, cost containment, and patient satisfaction, the role of health care...more

Research Doesn’t Pay—At Least Not in Graduate Medical Education

Indirect graduate medical costs, or IGME, are what Medicare allows teaching hospitals in increased Medicare rates. IGME represents the indirect costs to a teaching hospital of hosting residents and interns—costs above and...more

CMS Care Coordination Payments – A Boon to Doctors and Patients but Patient Participation Will be Essential

As the Affordable Care Act continues to mature, we are seeing new efforts by the Obama administration to incentivize care coordination across a spectrum of services provided to Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) patients. A New...more

Impact on Medicare Payments of Shift in Site of Care for Chemotherapy Administration

Two independent trends, acting in combination, are currently resulting in increased Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) chemotherapy payments. The first trend is a shift in the site of care for cancer patients from physicians’...more

New Clarifications Affect Physician and Hospital Medicare Part B Billing for Services Provided by Nursing and Other Staff...

CMS recently released rules changing the requirements for Medicare coverage of services furnished incident to a physician’s, NP’s, or PA’s services. Howard Sollins, Donna Senft and Susan Turner explain the effect of the...more

Congress Sends Mixed Messages to Health Care Providers

Recent federal health care legislation sent mixed signals to health care providers. Pursuant to HR 4302, signed by President Obama on April 2, planned Medicare reimbursement cuts of 24 percent and the implementation of a...more

Anatomy of an Independent Primary Care ACO, Part I

While concepts and theories can go a long way, sometimes the best way to understand something is through a concrete example. So, from time to time, ACO Insider will check in on a new accountable care organization composed of...more

News from the Health Law Gurus™: July 2014

Survey of ACA Navigators Finds 10.6 Million People Sought Enrollment Help — In a survey released this week, the Kaiser Family Foundation (“Kaiser”) estimates that approximately 10.6 million people received assistance...more

OIG Report Recommends Increased Scrutiny of Over 1000 Laboratories With Questionable Billing for Medicare Part B Clinical...

According to a recently released report by the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG), over 1,000 labs had unusually high billing for Medicare Part B Clinical Laboratory Services for dates of service in 2010. Increased...more

CMS Proposes Changes to Sunshine Act Reporting

Drug and device manufacturers breathing a sigh of relief after completing their 2013 data submissions under the Physician Payment Sunshine Act (the “Sunshine Act’) must now contend with four proposed changes to the Sunshine...more

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